firmament

[fur-muh-muhnt]
noun
the vault of heaven; sky.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English < Late Latin firmāmentum sky, Latin: support, prop, stay, equivalent to firmā(re) to strengthen, support (see firm2) + -mentum -ment

firmamental [fur-muh-men-tl] , adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
firmament (ˈfɜːməmənt)
 
n
the expanse of the sky; heavens
 
[C13: from Late Latin firmāmentum sky (considered as fixed above the earth), from Latin: prop, support, from firmāre to make firm1]
 
firmamental
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

firmament
mid-13c., from L. firmamentum "firmament," lit. "a support or strengthening," from firmus "firm" (see firm (adj.)), used in Vulgate to translate Gk. stereoma "firm or solid structure," which translated Heb. raqia, a word used of both the vault of the sky and the floor of the
earth in the O.T., probably lit. "expanse," from raqa "to spread out," but in Syriac meaning "to make firm or solid," hence the erroneous translation.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Firmament definition


from the Vulgate firmamentum, which is used as the translation of the Hebrew _raki'a_. This word means simply "expansion." It denotes the space or expanse like an arch appearing immediately above us. They who rendered _raki'a_ by firmamentum regarded it as a solid body. The language of Scripture is not scientific but popular, and hence we read of the sun rising and setting, and also here the use of this particular word. It is plain that it was used to denote solidity as well as expansion. It formed a division between the waters above and the waters below (Gen. 1:7). The _raki'a_ supported the upper reservoir (Ps. 148:4). It was the support also of the heavenly bodies (Gen. 1:14), and is spoken of as having "windows" and "doors" (Gen. 7:11; Isa. 24:18; Mal. 3:10) through which the rain and snow might descend.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Nine: the seven planets, the firmament, and the empyreal heaven.
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